You would think it a tough task to ‘push the boundaries’ of backpack technology – it’s just a bag after all – but browsing the Evoc range, and indeed using one of the company’s packs, is impressive.
This medium/large sized FR Trail pack is relatively large at 20 litres capacity and definitely more aimed at long days out on the bike, preferably in the rugged terrain that it has been designed to cope with, but it is also so comfy and well constructed that you’d be happy riding day-to-day with it too. We love the fact that the pack is available in three different sizes, it makes a lot of sense. If you opt for the size small pack, capacity is reduced to 18l, with size x-large it is increased to 22l.
Anything with the Evoc stamp on it has been scrupulously thought out, and the FR Trail pack includes such features as a built-in spine plate/protection (removable), bladder ‘pouch’ inside the main compartment, facility for carrying knee pads and either an open or full-face helmet and plenty of pockets, internal and external, for all your kit, food and tools.
The pack is constructed from Ripstop PU coated Nylon making it not only tough but also reasonably water repellent. Just to be sure, there’s also a rain cover (included), which folds down into a small pouch at the base of the pack, a small touch but we like it and it stops your valuables inside getting a soaking.
Evoc’s trademark waist belt is possibly what makes these bags some of the best currently on the market though – it’s extremely wide yet non-obtrusive and keeps the bag incredibly stable on your back. If you haven’t tried one you can’t understand how much difference it can make over other bags’ belts, which often seem to be an after thought.
With the belt fastened, helmet on, kneepads in place, you’ll be able to rip (‘freeride’ if you like) down any mountain and hardly know it’s even on your back.
The FR Trail comes highly recommended from us, as do all of Evoc’s backpacks. If you don’t think you need such a large capacity bag try the smaller FR Lite or FR Enduro packs.
More information: Evoc FR Trail
UK distribution: Silverfish UK